The cognitive effects of chemotherapy in post-menopausal breast cancer patients

A controlled longitudinal study

Felice A. Tager, Paula S. McKinley, Freya R. Schnabel, Mahmoud El-Tamer, Ying Keun K. Cheung, Yixin Fang, Claire R. Golden, Margery E. Frosch, Ulya Habif, Margaret M. Mulligan, Ivy S. Chen, Dawn L. Hershman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Studies suggest that adjuvant chemotherapy for early stage breast cancer (BC) is associated with cognitive impairment related to attention, memory, and visuospatial functioning. However, other studies have failed to confirm that relationship. We report one of the first longitudinal, controlled studies of cognitive effects of chemotherapy in older post-menopausal women. Sixty-one post-menopausal women with non-metastatic BC were administered neuropsychological tests before adjuvant therapy (Time1), six months after treatment (Time2), and at a final 6-month follow-up (Time3). Thirty women were treated with chemotherapy; thirty-one women who received no chemotherapy were controls. Cognitive domains measured included motor, language, attention/concentration/working memory, visuospatial, and memory (verbal and visual). Time-by-treatment interaction was significant in the motor domain (P = 0.007) with poorer performance in women treated with chemotherapy. For the other domains, scores did not significantly vary over time by group. In post-menopausal women, chemotherapy was not associated with changes in cognitive function in areas reported by BC survivors: attention, memory, and information processing. Motor slowing in women treated with chemotherapy could be secondary to peripheral neuropathy rather than an indication of more general declines in cognitive processing. Future studies should control for the independent effects of slowed motor functioning when looking to study possible chemotherapy related cognitive processing deficits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-34
Number of pages10
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Volume123
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

Fingerprint

Longitudinal Studies
Breast Neoplasms
Drug Therapy
Neuropsychological Tests
Peripheral Nervous System Diseases
Adjuvant Chemotherapy
Automatic Data Processing
Short-Term Memory
Cognition
Survivors
Language
Therapeutics

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Cognitive function
  • Post-menopausal

Cite this

Tager, F. A., McKinley, P. S., Schnabel, F. R., El-Tamer, M., Cheung, Y. K. K., Fang, Y., ... Hershman, D. L. (2010). The cognitive effects of chemotherapy in post-menopausal breast cancer patients: A controlled longitudinal study. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 123(1), 25-34. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10549-009-0606-8
Tager, Felice A. ; McKinley, Paula S. ; Schnabel, Freya R. ; El-Tamer, Mahmoud ; Cheung, Ying Keun K. ; Fang, Yixin ; Golden, Claire R. ; Frosch, Margery E. ; Habif, Ulya ; Mulligan, Margaret M. ; Chen, Ivy S. ; Hershman, Dawn L. / The cognitive effects of chemotherapy in post-menopausal breast cancer patients : A controlled longitudinal study. In: Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 2010 ; Vol. 123, No. 1. pp. 25-34.
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Tager, FA, McKinley, PS, Schnabel, FR, El-Tamer, M, Cheung, YKK, Fang, Y, Golden, CR, Frosch, ME, Habif, U, Mulligan, MM, Chen, IS & Hershman, DL 2010, 'The cognitive effects of chemotherapy in post-menopausal breast cancer patients: A controlled longitudinal study', Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, vol. 123, no. 1, pp. 25-34. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10549-009-0606-8

The cognitive effects of chemotherapy in post-menopausal breast cancer patients : A controlled longitudinal study. / Tager, Felice A.; McKinley, Paula S.; Schnabel, Freya R.; El-Tamer, Mahmoud; Cheung, Ying Keun K.; Fang, Yixin; Golden, Claire R.; Frosch, Margery E.; Habif, Ulya; Mulligan, Margaret M.; Chen, Ivy S.; Hershman, Dawn L.

In: Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, Vol. 123, No. 1, 01.01.2010, p. 25-34.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - The cognitive effects of chemotherapy in post-menopausal breast cancer patients

T2 - A controlled longitudinal study

AU - Tager, Felice A.

AU - McKinley, Paula S.

AU - Schnabel, Freya R.

AU - El-Tamer, Mahmoud

AU - Cheung, Ying Keun K.

AU - Fang, Yixin

AU - Golden, Claire R.

AU - Frosch, Margery E.

AU - Habif, Ulya

AU - Mulligan, Margaret M.

AU - Chen, Ivy S.

AU - Hershman, Dawn L.

PY - 2010/1/1

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N2 - Studies suggest that adjuvant chemotherapy for early stage breast cancer (BC) is associated with cognitive impairment related to attention, memory, and visuospatial functioning. However, other studies have failed to confirm that relationship. We report one of the first longitudinal, controlled studies of cognitive effects of chemotherapy in older post-menopausal women. Sixty-one post-menopausal women with non-metastatic BC were administered neuropsychological tests before adjuvant therapy (Time1), six months after treatment (Time2), and at a final 6-month follow-up (Time3). Thirty women were treated with chemotherapy; thirty-one women who received no chemotherapy were controls. Cognitive domains measured included motor, language, attention/concentration/working memory, visuospatial, and memory (verbal and visual). Time-by-treatment interaction was significant in the motor domain (P = 0.007) with poorer performance in women treated with chemotherapy. For the other domains, scores did not significantly vary over time by group. In post-menopausal women, chemotherapy was not associated with changes in cognitive function in areas reported by BC survivors: attention, memory, and information processing. Motor slowing in women treated with chemotherapy could be secondary to peripheral neuropathy rather than an indication of more general declines in cognitive processing. Future studies should control for the independent effects of slowed motor functioning when looking to study possible chemotherapy related cognitive processing deficits.

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